NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 20: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the New Jersey Devils in action against the Minnesota Wild at the Prudential Center on March 20, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Wild 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Often brutally honest Jagr ‘proud’ of Devils

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New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr doesn’t feel inclined to always put a positive spin on things. The latest example of that came on Monday when Jagr bashed the Devils’ “preseason” effort in a game they won 6-3.

So when he does praise his teammates, as he did after the Devils’ critical 2-1 victory over Washington, you can take his statements as genuine.

New Jersey’s win was particularly impressive because the team lost Patrik Elias in the first period. Forwards Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson were also hurt during the contest.

“That’s probably the toughest and best win we’ve had so far, the way I look at it,” Jagr told the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. “When we have to win, guys went down, we have a lot of new guys and we did it.

“I’m proud of our team tonight.”

The Devils have gotten nine out of a possible 12 points over their last six games, with all of their missed points stemming from shootout losses. The hole they put themselves in was massive though and they are consequently still three points out of a playoff spot with just five games left.

Still, it wasn’t long ago that they looked dead and they’ve managed to hold onto a glimmer of hope. The Devils will play against Carolina tonight.

Ducks ink Despres, acquired in Lovejoy trade, to five-year, $18.5M deal

Simon Despres

Fairly big move out of Anaheim on Friday, as the Ducks have inked defenseman Simon Despres to a five-year, $18.5 million deal, per TVA.

The $3.7 million cap hit represents a nice pay bump for Despres, who’s in the last of a two-year deal that pays $900K annually. A former first-round pick, Despres was acquired by the Ducks from Pittsburgh at last year’s deadline in exchange for Ben Lovejoy, a move that was widely questioned.

Why questioned?

Probably because the guy that made it, Pens GM Jim Rutherford, admitted it was a mistake.

“If I had a chance to make that trade today, as we speak, I wouldn’t make it,” he told the Tribune-Review in late May. “I knew at the time, over time, the trade would certainly be in Anaheim’s favor. But at the time we made it, and the reasons we made it for, I still feel it was the right thing to do.”

Despres, 24, has shown well in Anaheim since the deal.

He had six points in 16 games last year while averaging just under 19 minutes per night, and was a big part of the club’s run to the Western Conference final, scoring seven points in 16 playoff games with his TOI going over 20 per.

Lovejoy, meanwhile, looks like he’ll be a bottom-pairing guy on a Pittsburgh defense that isn’t especially deep. He played just 16:28 in Thursday’s season-opening loss to Dallas; only Brian Dumoulin played less.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out